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David Warwick of EDS

reviews Tickled Pink by Lynne Heraud & Pat Turner

Those of us with long memories will recall the duo Jacqui & Bridie who, from 1964, toured thenorth-west club circuit and further afield singing traditional songs and slightly risqué ditties with great wit and style. Their live performances were like great family gatherings, watching one’s favourite aunts get up and entertain. Forty years on, it seems the southern Home Counties have produced their own version in the shape of Lynne Heraud and Pat Turner.

Their songs include ‘Oxfam Girls’ (the perpetual search for the best charity shops), ‘Distant Rumblings’ (‘colitis & diverticulitis …. I’m really having problems at the rear!’), ‘The Smear Test’, (with its chorus of ‘It’s a hard life being a woman’), and ‘In Praise of the Menopause’ … rude, clever, and all written by Lynne herself. These would not be out of place in an evening with Fascinating Aida.

There are also four self-penned songs from Pat: ‘IMIMB’ (‘I Must Increase My Bust !’) and, in an entirely different style, ‘Back in The Game’, ‘The Black Ship’, and the evocative ‘Small Fish’, written in the traditional style, sung a capella and multi-tracked: it’s deceptively simple and breathtakingly beautiful. Together they have written the gentle and melodic ‘The Sweetman’; how many songs can you think of praising the delights of the corner sweet shop? The remaining songs on this 15-track CD are mainly traditional. Their unaccompanied harmonic talents come to the fore in ‘Rosemary Lane’, ‘Wife of Usher’s Well’, and ‘Braw Sailing’. Pat Turner adds gentle guitar backing, and Paul Sartin fiddle and oboe, on ‘Bonny George Campbell’ and ‘Green Grows the Laurel’. There’s a delightful version of ‘Time You Old Gypsy Man’, a Frank Hodgson poem set to music by Frank Lee (a friend of the duo).

Judging solely by the songs on this CD, I’d say that Lynn and Pat have different but complementary characters: Lynn, the quick wit, the clown; Pat, the more serious, soulful, introspective. It’s a combination which patently works. There are two quotes on the sleeve notes which are worth mentioning: ‘Everything from high tragedy to ingenious smut in glorious vocal harmony’; and ‘No-one else would have the nerve …’. Seems to absolutely sum them up.